Thursday, February 2, 2017

Royal Ramble: 2017

Apparently, this Royal Rumble is a big deal because it has a bunch of old guys in it. Undertaker, Goldberg, Bork Lazer, Big Slow,... maybe a couple NXT guys might show up for good measure.

As per the case with these PPVs, I generally don't watch the pre-shows. I did catch the Holy Foley marathon that was playing early during the day and I regret having done so. As much as I enjoyed Mick Foley's antics during his prime years, modern-day Foley is about as entertaining as a root canal. A truly dreadful show in every sense of the word... even Total Divas is much more entertaining than this (and that show is also the equivalent of an anal evacuation.)

But I digress. I'm not here to talk about WWE's horrible reality shows. I'm here to muse on the Rumble. So here're my post-show thoughts and, as a bit of an added bonus, I include my "live notes" that I took during the Rumble match in progress. So that's something... I guess.

Women's champ Charlotte defeated Bayley... no hugs for anybody. I guess they're saving the big win for Mania or something, but we all remember the last time they had a women's match at Mania... and by we, I mean you because I remember absolutely jack shit from last year's Mania.

Red Belt champion Kevin Owens defeated Roman Reigns with a timely assist from Braun Strawman to retain the title. This was no-DQ, Jericho's in a cage for some reason, and so we got someone else to run interference on behalf of Owens. This wasn't the greatest brawl in the history of our sport, but it was fine for what it was and it was exactly what this needed to be; a brawl for it all.

Neville defeated Cruiserweight champion Rich Swann with a submission maneuver to win the title. Hey, I'm not going to complain about the match; it was fine. Matter of fact, I won't complain about the finish either. At least I know Neville, so might as well make him champion.

John Cena defeated WWE World champion AJ Styles to win the title for a 16th time. Cena needs to lose the title soon so that he can win it for a 17th time and we can all forget about that other has-been. As expected, this was a great match in a series of them. And honestly, if we have nothing but John Cena vs. AJ Styles for the rest of the year, then I'd be... actually, on second thought, let's not go there because I don't want it to suffer the same fate as Sasha vs. Charlotte or, god forbid, Cena vs. Orton.

Still, great match. Probably the highlight of the show.

Randy Orton wins the Royal Rumble match. This had a couple nice moments: the Braun Strowman run was more interesting than it had any right being, Goldberg sending Brock Lesnar back to Steroid City with seconds to spare, the first meeting between Da Man and Dead Man, and even Elsworth being a complete idiot was fun. But for the most part, this was a Rumble match with a largely piss-breakable middle portion, no real surprises, and largely forgettable. At the very least, this was an actual Royal Rumble match and not another futile attempt at trying to get Roman Reigns over as the next big thing because that's more than likely not happening with that bit of damaged goods.

On a whole, this was a pretty solid show with a fantastic World title match, a fun for the most part Rumble match, and even the undercard had its moments. This probably didn't need to be four hours, but nonetheless, it went by rather well and I'm fine with that... so that's a thing.

Royal Rumble "Live" Notes:
I was watching the Royal Rumble with my older brother, who was just tuning into his first WWE event in years and thus knows none of the newer talent. Therefore, every once in a while, I might add in some quips he made over the course of the match.

First entrant is Big Cass... and Enzo Amore is there to waste time. I can see why this show is four hours long.

Bro: Great, they're starting with the Italians. Fuck that.

Chris Jericho is Number Two... insert your own joke here.

Bro: So now Jericho dresses like an [effeminate fellow?]

After a bit of Big Cass tossing Jericho around, Kalisto comes in at #3 so he can do a good lucha thing or something.

Bro: Whatever happened to Rey Mysterio?

Entrant #4 is Mojo Rawley, who does nothing of note.

One thing I am noting is that the intervals between entrants is feeling a bit too quick. They say every two minutes, but I'm guessing it's more like ninety-seconds... if that, even. This is going by really, really quickly.

Next entrant is Jack Gallagher, a small British wrestler with an umbrella. The umbrella sees plenty of action as it manages to score a ball shot on Jericho.

Mark Henry is #6 and yes, he's still around. Gallagher tries to headbutt Mark and is about as effective as fly paper. Poor fellow is quickly eliminated (with umbrella in hand, of course.)

Braun Strowman comes in at #7 and what is with all the neckbeards? I mean really, fuck.

So Strawman tosses Big Cass and Mojo Rawley rather quickly, then proceeds to deport Kalisto out of the match. (Bro: That made Trump happy.) Mark Henry quickly goes bye-bye. We're up to five eliminations.

Sami Zayn is #8 and resumes that feud he had with Brauny Man that I had to look up elsewhere to know that was a thing.

Here comes Medium Show at #9... seriously, his neckbeard is practically bigger than he is, for fuck's sake. Guy looks good otherwise. Unfortunately, Braun gets the upperhand for a bit before eating chokeslam. Jericho returns from hiding to try and get Show off balance, but he ends up eating fist. Braun eventually tosses the Big Show out of the match so that he can save his energy for the eventual Shaq match.

Coming out at #10 is... Tye Dillinger. Nice touch and he gets to do his whole 10 thing.

Bro: I like the 10 on his back.

James Elsworth is up next and he stays outside because he doesn't want to face the Brauny man. Then Dean Ambrose shows up and inspires Elsworth that "we'll take them together." But it's the classic bit where Elsworth goes in and Ambrose just stands there and watches because No Chin is an idiot... and eliminated.

Baron Corbin is up and apparently Tye Dillinger is the 8th guy eliminated... sad they couldn't eliminate a couple other guys so that he'd be #10, but I guess you can't win 'em all.

Meanwhile, Strauman continues his dominating ways by eliminating a couple more guys before Corbin kills the momentum and knocks Braun out of the ring in surprising fashion. Hey, you know what? I'm not going to complain. I actually cared more about Braun's hot streak than three years of futility with Roman Reigns.

Kofi Kingston is up next... nothing of note happens. Then Miz shows up and we see Maryse up for a bit before she gets sent to the back, which makes Cory Graves unhappy. Doesn't Miz realize people are more interested in his WIFE than in anything he actually does?

The save for Kofi comes in the form of getting knocked off the ring post and landing with his FACE. It's a really bad fall and I'm surprised he made it alright.

Sheamus is #16 and hey, did you know he and Cesaro no longer the tag champs? That's the first I've heard of it. Chris Jericho, doing his best Roman Reigns impression of sitting on the outside for most of the match, gets Brogued Kicked for his troubles... but at least he's still in the match.

Big E is #17... nothing of note happens. Did I mention that my brother doesn't care for New Day's schtick? That's something worth mentioning.

Rusev is #18... nothing of note happens.

Bro: Does he still have that tank?

Cesaro is #19... and bodies are piling up.,, with nothing of note happening.

Xavier Woods is #20... nothing of note happens. You know, a surprise might be a good idea right about now.

Bray Wyatt at #21 and he gets the entrance thing he does... probably hoping nobody catches the golf cart that's taking him to the ring. You know, that golf cart guy should be at Wrestlemania. Undertaker might need a ride or something.

Apollo Crews is #22 and, well, take a guess.

Randy Orton is next at #23... RKOs for everybody. Then comes Dolph Ziggler... nobody cares... at some point, all of New Day as well as Sheamus and Cesaro are eliminated and... oh look, it's Luke Harper. There goes Apollo.

Finally, at #26, we have Brock Lesnar... who does his usual steroid-infused suplexes and F5s and maybe eliminates a couple guys. Enzo Amore comes in at #27 and gets tossed quickly... thank fuck for that, at least.

Goldberg comes in at #28 (Bro: He's still around?) and within a minute, we get a spear on Brock... Bye Bye, Brock. Back to Steroid City you go. This leaves Goldberg to play with the other kids in the ring at the moment because we've got some time to kill.

In comes Undertaker and we get a face off between Goldberg and Undertaker... the battle of the old guys would've been a better Wrestlemania match than anything involving Brock... and despite some interference from the no-names, Dead Man eliminates Da Man and there goes any reason for anyone to care..

And the final buzzer for the night rings and out comes the final entrant in the Royal Rumble match. Who could it possibly be?

It's Roman Reigns... and the boos kick into overdrive.

(Bro: Who's this guy? Is he supposed to be a big deal or something?)

All the enticing choices you could've made to make that last entrant a real surprise and a crowd pleaser - bring up Samoa Joe (who'd show up the next night on RAW and put Seth Rollins on the inactive list along with Tyson Kidd), maybe drag Kurt Angle out for a quick spot or two, someone no one would expect... maybe even a nostalgia act or something - but instead, we have yet another attempt to try and get Roman over with the fans and nobody is buying it. On the bright side, Rey Mysterio can rest easy, for he is no longer the most hated man in the #30 Rumble spot.

And with that, there goes any reason to care. Then again, you could argue you lost any reason to care once Strowman bit the dust... and I can hardly believe I'm saying that, but there you go.

So Reigns eliminates the Deadman, teasing a Wrestlemania match that a good majority of folks DON'T want to watch. Then Roman ends Jericho's hour-long stint in the Rumble. Then he eliminates Wyatt... and then he eats an RKO from somewhere down there. Out goes Roman.

Randy Orton is your two-time Royal Rumble winner.

Personally, I would've liked to have seen Bray win, but all things considered, I'm fine with that result. Roman's not touching the main event picture or a title match any time soon and it's nice to see a fresh match-up in the main event like John Cena vs. Randy Orton.


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